Cover photo for Brian Barnetzke's Obituary
1958 Brian 2023

Brian Barnetzke

July 22, 1958 — September 20, 2023

Eagan, Minnesota

Brian Barnetzke, 65 of Eagan, Minnesota, died Wednesday September 20, at United Hospital, St. Paul Minnesota.
Brian was born July, 22 1958 in Wausau to the late Roger and Elaine (Berens) Barnetzke.


From the earliest age, Brian's passion for Polka music was evident, handed down from his father Roger who for
many years played with the Jerry Goetsch Orchestra and the Nu-Tones band. Brian was never far away with his tape recorder.


Brian, Mark Heinz and Jeff Heinz started their first band in 1969 (The Jolly Cracker Jacks) and made one of their
first public appearance as a guest band on the popular Jerry Goetsch Polka TV Show.


Brian graduated from Wausau West High School in 1976, and was a member of the very talented Band Boys Orchestra.
He also played many years with the Jolly Gentlemen Orchestra, Pat Zoromski and the Boys from Polonia , then in more recent years filled in with many bands throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, playing a variety of instruments including trumpet, piano, accordian trombone and drums. Brian later recorded two solo albums where he played all of the instruments on the tracks.


Brian graduated from UW-Steven Point in 1980 with a degree in music, and taught music at Rhinelander High School
before settling into a long career in the airline Industry with Republic, Northwest and Delta Airlines until retiring in 2022.
Brian's other passion was spending time at his cabin at Somo Lake. Sadly, his vision of spending signficant time there was cut short. Brian was always ready for a good laugh and enjoyed life to the fullest. His witty and carefree sense of humor will be greatly missed.

Survivors include two brothers, Bob (Pam) Barnetzke of Tomahawk, and Tom (Lorrie) Barnetzke of Wausau along with nephews & nieces Matty Barnetzke, Mitch Barnetzke, Brandon Barnetzke, Brett Barnetzke, Zachary (Katelyn) Barnetzke, Emily (Taylor) Reinhardt and Katie (Cole) Loetscher.


Visitation will be on Thursday October 5th at Helke's Funeral Home, Wausau, WI from 10am-1-pm. All are welcome to process to Restlawn Memorial Park for the commital and a short service. Afterwards please join the family to continue the celebration of Brian's life at Richard's Supper Club from 1pm-5pm.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Brian Barnetzke, please visit our flower store.

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